review ä Holy Fools 100

Joanne Harris È 0 Download

R the birth of her daughter she takes up the veil and a new name Soeur Auguste But the peace she has found in re mote isolation is shattered five years later by the events that follow the death of her kind benefactress the Reverend MotherWhen a new abbess the daughter of a corrupt noble family elevated by the murder of King Henri IV arrives at Sainte Marie de la mer she does not arrive alone With her is her personal confessor and spiritual guide Père Colombin a man Soeur Auguste knows all too well For the newcomer is Guy LeMerle a charlatan and seducer now masuerading as a priest an Although I really enjoy reading Harris’s works I’m beginning to wonder Artemisia Gentileschi years later by the events that follow the death of her kind benefactress the Reverend MotherWhen a new abbess the daughter of a corrupt noble family elevated by the murder of King Henri IV arrives at Sainte Marie de la mer she does not arrive alone With her is her personal confessor and spiritual guide Père Colombin a man Soeur Auguste knows all too well For the newcomer is Guy LeMerle a charlatan and seducer now masuerading as a priest an Although I really enjoy reading Harris’s works I’m beginning to wonder

characters Holy Fools

Holy Fools

D the one man she fears than any otherSoeur Auguste has a secret Once she was l'Ailée The Winged One star performer of a troupe led by LeMerle before betrayal forced her to change her identity But now the past has found her Before long thanks to LeMerle suspicion and debauchery are breeding like a plague within the convent's walls fueled by dark rumors of witchcraft part of the false priest's brilliantly orchestrated scheme of revenge To protect herself and her beloved child l'Ailée will have to perform one last act of dazzling daring audacious than any she has previously attempted ‘Time’s black rosary counts the interminable seconds’ In 17th Century

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With her internationally bestselling novels Chocolat Blackberry Wine Five uarters of the Orange and Coastliners Joanne Harris has woven intoxicating spells that celebrate the sensuous while exposing the passion secrets and folly beneath the surface of rustic village life In Holy Fools her most ambitious and accomplished novel to date she transports us back to a time of intrigue and turmoil of deception and masueradeIn the year 1605 a young widow pregnant and alone seeks sanctuary at the small Abbey of Sainte Marie de la mer on the island of Noirs Moustiers off the Brittany coast Afte I have mixed feelings about this book It was a nice contrast and complement


10 thoughts on “Holy Fools

  1. says:

    I finally read a Joanne Harris book Have looked at these books for years and have always loved the covers but thought they could be winners or losers for me but this was a winnerA young lady spends her early years traveling and performing with a gypsy troupe meeting people along the way who will have great impressions on her life After several run ins and close calls the troupe disbands spreading to various parts of France Juliette finds herself in a convent where she lives an easy life with a group of Nuns several from similar backgrounds But she can't escape her past and eventually it catches up with her But things have changed within Juliette through the years and now she will deal with her past But she is not prepared for what is to comeAgain I must say I am not one to read much historical fiction and this book takes place in the year 1610 but I really delved into this I enjoy historical non fiction reads and felt that the research for the times of this story was vastI enjoyed this book far than I hoped too It has a great cast of female characters a fast moving plot and a fair amount of underhanded dealings I'm sure to read of Joanne's books


  2. says:

    I have mixed feelings about this book It was a nice contrast and complement after The Pillars of the Earth as that book was set in a monastery in England and this one in a convent in France though 500 years later I have not read Chocolat by Harris but of course I have seen the movie and thoroughly enjoyed itThis book is uite different—much darker and without a satisfactory ending in my opinion I liked the character development of Juliette and the fact that she found peace and comunity at the island convent after her rather troubled past as a gypsy and circus performer She sought refuge there after she realized she was pregnant and for awhile she is able to lead a fairly restful life raising her daughter tending the herb garden and teaching Latin to the novices This all changes when LeMerle a man from her past arrives masuerading as a priest with the new strict abbess with his own evil agenda One of the most interesting tidbits of the book was that while the sculpture of the patron saint of the convent Maire de la mer is said to be the Holy Mother it is than likely a mermaid While another reviewer has pointed out that this church does not in fact exist it made me think again how the pagan customs of local people were often merged into the Catholic belief system It was akin to the blood oath at the Scottish marriage in Outlander by Gabaldon as well as the Celtic practice that married monks were acceptable in Ireland long after such practices were banned elsewhere as mentioned in Rutherford’s The Princes of Ireland This blending of the pagan and the holy pervades the book manifested not just in the sculpture but also in Juliette’s herbal remedies as well as her surreptitious card readings to divine LeMerle’s purpose at the convent The mysterythriller aspect of the book did keep me riveted and I finished it in a few hours this afternoon by the pool However I felt the ending would have been better if Harris had finished after the final scene at the convent Overall I would recommend it as escapist summer reading with a darker overtone


  3. says:

    Holy Fools 0 552 77001 9What happened here? I loved Chocolat and I adored Five uarters of the Orange Holy Fools however seems like it came from a completely different author The book is acceptable but not up to Harris' standards To start the Mother Daughter theme that Harris employs so well is deeply underdeveloped here as of a plot device than anything else There was a lot of potential here a nun with a beloved daughter raising her to be safe from the outside world and yet perhaps a little too sheltered Unfortunately the daughter seems a little underdeveloped neither rebellious and wanting to know the curiosities of the outside world nor a little too content in her cocoon Instead the daughter seems only to exist to serve as a kidnaphostage victim so that our heroine cannot effectively flee or intervene when the madness begins I could accept the daughter as hostage plot device were the main character not so otherwise one dimensional The evil mustache twirling villain has abused her in numerous ways and yet she seems intently less interested in bearing a grudge and intent on mooning her way back into his bed Once there however it never seems to occur to our heroine to tie him up and persuade him to tell her the secret location of her kidnapped daughter; instead she just focuses on having a nice tumble and heading off cheerily the next morning The lackluster narrative conflicts deeply with the established character of the narrator she's been shown to have great survival skills and would manage easily on her own with the child outside the nunnery so why does it not even occur to her to take a runner? Harris' crisp insight into females isn't just lost on our heroine All the women in this novel are almost irredeemable idiots The nuns descend almost instantly into madness under the manipulation of the villain This isn't presented as religious hysteria; the women seem either intensely stupid or completely eager to join the villain for their own selfish reasons The subtlety necessary for religious hysteria seems completely absent here which is astonishing because I believe that if anyone could have pulled it off Harris could have Again what happened here? This isn't a bad novel It's got enough cliches to shake a stick at and it's incredibly frustrating at bits but so are many decent novels But this is a bad novel for Harris You may enjoy this if you check it out at a library but don't expect Harris uality In the end I didn't hate it but I was deeply disappointed Ana Mardoll


  4. says:

    A gorgeous compelling story set in mediaeval France Holy Fools has all the ingredients I love in Joanne Harris’s books There’s a strong complex heroine with pagan inclinations a few villains a slightly gothic setting and a lot of less than comfortable reflections on the human condition Harris has a very warts and all approach to portraying people She doesn’t tend to do clear lines between the wholly good and the wholly bad and I love this about her workOne of the themes running through this novel is that way in which people are often complicit in their own oppression In trying to please the oppressor and trying to avoid punishment we give other names to the witch hunter We accuse someone else to take attention from ourselves So often what is called for in oppressive scenarios is a banding together to fight off the tyrant If there’s one tyrant and many people being mistreated weight of numbers should fix it but often it doesn’t Instead in trying to protect ourselves we uphold evil systems and support those who abuse usThis is a powerful story the characters are many and brought to life with consummate skill I am absolutely convinced that just reading Joanne Harris has the effect of making me a better author I learn so much from her work and am constantly aware that I have a lot of learning to do yet


  5. says:

    Although I really enjoy reading Harris’s works I’m beginning to wonder if she has something against the Catholic church In the majority of the books I’ve read written by her someone or something from the Catholic church ends up being the baddie and the Church itself is inevitably portrayed as corrupted and judgmental I’m not Catholic but I’d hope that someone who is as lovely an author as she is could branch out a little in her pool for villainsThis book while still engaging in much magical realism isn’t uite as engaging as some of her other works It tells the story of Juliette – a former wire walker a type of acrobatic tight rope walker who has abandoned her old life in order to take care of her daughter She has chosen an out of the way monastery by the ocean in order to do this and has reinvented herself as Sister Auguste When her past comes back to haunt her in the form of a man she once loved Juliette must use all her wits and courage in order to save her daughter and the nuns she has come to care forFor some reason I couldn’t precisely enjoy this story as much as any of Harris’s others Juliette was interesting and the suspense built throughout the book was extraordinarybut I never felt uite confident in what was going on It was as if I never felt in step with the characters They were there on the page for me to get to know but I wasn’t interested in them The story was great and the setting and the characters but it just lacked the zip to hold my interest


  6. says:

    Not at all what I anticipated from the blurb I have read online I was expecting it to be of a theatre based story but I loved it either wayI loved all the twists and turns in the story and the fact I could never be sure what to think about each character other than Juliette our main narrator because everything that seemed to be true was uncovered to be false especially behaviours of certain peopleWhat the novel said about sin behaviours of people who are not void of sins what we choose to believe in about motherhood and motherly instincts jealousy etc was so deeply rooted in real psychology thus it hit hard for me because of its genuinity To be honest I see certain behavioural patterns portrayed in the book present in today's era THAN EVER Getting petty revenge on people who ridicule us Believing in and giving their trust to the people who are cunning and who can sell themselves if they are attractive it does not hurt right? Using gullible andor young and inexperienced people to reach one's goal Suspecting the weird people when something is going wrong People seemingly getting along nicely playing each other out to be near the firenot to even talk about how eerily the theatre part is resonating with the big abuse scandal of Hollywood you would have thought we have reached a point where actresses are not treated as prostitutes to prominent menBut I also liked how religious communities in good times were shown I do think this was drawn from reality too how they sometimes act as refuge for those whose lives seem irrepairableI liked how the villain was villanous and someone who love to hate with this enigmatic evilness in him but at the same time he was not an empty shell and he had the motivation and a background that can explain his behaviour partly and also he was not without emotions I also loved how our main heroine was not perfectly good but likeable I don't have children but I think I can understand her decisions in th light of her wanting to save her daughter for which goal she is ready to commit sins And I also think I understood the dynamics of her relatinship with LeMerle I can imagine that there is that sort of partly emotional partly sexual passionattraction that is really hard to break even though you know the other person is only going to cause you miseryPlus yes the theatre parts were a huge plus for me as someone whose biggest passion in life is theatre or at least one of the bigger passions I really felt there was great research behind those elements


  7. says:

    Joanne Harris can spin a tale I was totally captivated by this magical medieval story that follows two adversaries who both love and vie with each other Juliette is a high wire artist who was raised as a gypsy She seeks refuge at the Abbey of Sainte Marie de la mer when she becomes pregnant with her baby Fleur She enjoys the uiet life there tending her herbs etc until she once again comes in contact with the Blackbird the conniving and cruel yet charming Guy LeMerle who shows up disguised as Père Colombin de Saint Amand confessor to the newly appointed abbess Juliette and LeMerle have been both lovers and antagonists and their relationship is the central theme of Harris’ story They are like magnets the positive and negative aspects of their personalities pulling them together and thrusting them apart as they battle each other while at the same time respecting the other’s movesSet in 17th century France when internal conflicts beset the Catholic church the story is both theatrical and intense Harris keeps the reader’s attention with the developing intrigue between her two main characters One is never uite sure how LeMerle will manipulate events and if Juliette will continue to be a victim or emerge victorious She knows LeMerle’s favors always come with a price and the story reaches a turning point when she realizes that pride is all he hasThis is the fourth Joanne Harris book I’ve read and I have yet to be disappointed


  8. says:

    The plot of this novel is fairly original and the beginning seemed promising Where it failed was on the actual execution of the plot and motivation of characters The whole plot just seems unlikely Things happen without explanation and it is hard to believe how these people got from what they used to be to what they are Another problem is that this book did not give me the feel of the time period


  9. says:

    ‘Time’s black rosary counts the interminable seconds’ In 17th Century France Soeur Auguste lives a gentle generous life in the remote island abbey of Sainte Marie de la Mer together with her daughter Fleur She is loved and valued by her sisters in faith as much for her skills with medicinal plants as for her sweet and kindly nature But Soeur Auguste is hiding a secret She is not the impoverished widow of her ‘cover story’ but Juliette a one time gypsy and circus performer forced by the betrayal of a man she loved to seek refuge in holy orders For the first five years of Fleur’s life all goes well and if Juliette feels at all restless and confined in her new life the joy she has in her daughter and her friendship with the Abbess and some of the other nuns than make up for it But then the old Abbess dies and her successor is the eleven year old daughter of a corrupt and noble family fanatically bent on reform Worse still the new Abbess has brought as her confessor and guiding priest an imposter with an evil agenda of his own Pere Colombin is none other than Guy LeMerle the Blackbird the man who betrayed Juliette five years earlier To survive in the new order and protect those she cares about Juliette has no choice but to fight LeMerle in an increasingly dangerous battle of wits that ultimately only one of them can survive The book starts sweetly if a little slowly as we alternate between Juliette’s life in the abbey and her recollections of an earlier time on the road It was no charmed existence she was orphaned separated from her adopted family driven to begging and prostitution to survive used selfishly by the man she loved and finally abandoned to an almost certain death And yet Harris captures the rich heady essence of 17th century gypsy life in the way that to my mind Stef Penney completely failed to do for its 20th century euivalent in The Invisible Ones Harris paints a wonderful colourful picture; not a pretty one by any means but one completely compelling What might be disappointing for Harris fans is that the character of Juliette can seem rather too similar to that of Vianne Rocher Chocolat The Lollipop Shoes and Peaches for Monsieur Le Cure and to some extent that of Framboise Five uarters of The Orange There was a sense in the Juliette narrated chapters of going over old ground but the book comes to life gloriously with the entrance of Guy LeMerle a fascinatingly immoral creation who values others only in that they can be of use to him or amuse him and who remains irrepressible and unrepentant till the end The follies of organized religion are themes that Harris refers to freuently in her work but in no other book is the danger of denying natural human impulses thoroughly explored than in this The convent seethes with the stench of repressed sexuality and resonates with the frustrations of lives left unsatisfied The abbey is like dry kindling in the hot sun One spark and everything is set to erupt Harris shows the freefall into disorder perfectly The simple country nuns soon become confused attention seeking spiteful and ultimately hysterical under the twin influences of LeMerle’s mischief and the Abbess’s misplaced zeal We can only watch with dismay The Holy Fools is probably not the best of Harris’s books but given that her “worst” would still be streets ahead of the best of most other writers it’s well worth a read


  10. says:

    One of the reasons I like to read historical fiction set in far away places is I learn about history and far away places This book doesn't give that satisfaction because instead of doing historical and locational research the author made stuff up She sets much of the action in a nunnery on an island near the southern town Saintes Maries de la Mer I've actually been to this town and there's no island and no nunnery there I think she was inspired by the island monastary of Mont St Michel on the other end of the country where the monks really are isolated at high tide or would have been before the modern causeway was built Also Juliet's ideas about everything from hygiene to religion are way 21st century than 17th centuryStill I sped right through this book Inaccurate unbelievable and formulaic And a fun relaxing read


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